Photos by Brenda Norrell: Photo 1: Cordell Tulley and Earl Tulley at Roberta Blackgoat's home in Cactus Valley near Big Mountain, waiting for the threatened forced relocation of Navajos and arrival of agents. The sign: "Sue the Creator." Photo 2: Ulali with Oneida comedian Charlie Hill and Hopi/Navajo photographer Larry Gus on Alcatraz. Photo 3: Whale jaws: Navajo filmmaker Arlene Bowman on Seri land on the coast of Sonora, Mexico, during a gathering to uphold fishing rights of Indigenous fishermen.
Photo 1: Feb. 1, 2000: Deadline Day
BIG MOUNTAIN, Ariz. -- On the morning when Kee Watchman and Roberta Blackgoat were officially declared in trespass in their own homes in this rugged canyon country, they sat by an open cookfire together and placed their faith and fate solely in the Creator.
Placing his hand firmly on his heart, Watchman said, "In my feelings in my heart, from the bottom of my heart, it doesn't feel like eviction is going to happen."
"Traditional Hopi told us don't ever take what the government offers us, and don't ever leave the land. They said if we do, 'That will be it. Black Mesa will not be safe.'
On the short wave radio at Blackgoat's stonehouse in the remote Cactus Valley area of Big Mountain, Navajo resisters were linked with Floyd Westerman and addressed a relocation protest at a federal building in San Francisco.
-- Brenda Norrell, Feb. 1, 2000
In memory of Roberta Blackgoat, Kee Watchman and Floyd Westerman.